introduction - Great Chesterford C of E Primary Academy

Early Years Policy 2015
Approved by the Full Governing Body June 2015
The Policy provides an outline of the principles and practices of the school in
regard to Early Years Provision.
Central to the policy are the importance of play and the enjoyment of learning
in a safe environment in which children can start to develop their individual
The aim of all church schools is to provide the best possible education for
each child within the context of a caring Christian community. We aim to
provide a broad and balanced curriculum which will enable each child to
develop confidently to the best of his/her ability. Our curriculum is designed to
promote the spiritual, intellectual, moral, physical and social well being of the
children. They will learn more about the world in which they live and begin to
appreciate and develop skills, concepts and attitudes needed for their adult
We believe:
That the emphasis should lie firmly with what children can do rather than
what they cannot do.
The start to their schooling should be coloured by success and praise
since their early years experience may well determine their attitude to
learning throughout their life.
That it is important to provide a high quality, broad and balanced education
which enables all children to achieve the highest standard of which they
are capable.
That all children are entitled to equality of opportunity regardless of
gender, age, ethnic background or disability.
That there should be sustained time for play, recognising that through play
children can consolidate and practice their learning.
That there should be regular and productive observation and assessment
of the children’s progress together with careful record keeping.
In the importance of strong links between the home and the school as well
as liaison with others providing early years education in the community.
Children are normally admitted to the Early Years class at the beginning of the
school year in which they will be five in accordance with the school
Admissions Policy.
At present the Admissions Policy is based on an intended admission total of
All applications for admission are considered by the Admissions Committee of
the Governing Body at the end of March.
The length of their school day depends on the child’s date of birth. The oldest
children stay all day from the beginning of the year while the younger ones
gradually extend their day during the year.
During the summer term the Early Years teacher visits the feeder pre schools
and nurseries to gather information about the prospective pupils and to
observe and meet the children.
Later there is a meeting for parents at which they are given advice on
preparing their children for school as well as the necessary documentation.
This is also an opportunity for them to ask any questions they might have.
During the Summer Term children who will start school full time in September
have the opportunity to attend school for a series of 4 induction afternoons.
Induction for the part-time pupils occurs at the beginning of the Autumn term.
To enable adequate teacher attention and observation in the critical first few
days of their school education, the new children do not all begin on the same
day but in small groups.
Parents are able to talk about any problems and successes with the Early
Years teacher by arrangement or as necessary.
Our Early Years Curriculum is based on the following six areas of learning
and follows the Foundation Stage of the curriculum.
Creative Development (Art, Music, Drama)
Language and Literacy (Speaking, Listening, Reading and Writing)
Mathematical Development
Personal, Social and Emotional Development
Physical Development
Knowledge and Understanding of the World
The curriculum is structured to build on the child’s own experience.
Exploratory, investigative and creative play is of paramount importance. The
children are encouraged to be independent, questioning and active learners
with the adults providing the necessary support and encouragement. The
children work at their own level and pace. Materials and tasks are designed to
ensure that the individual child is stimulated and challenged. This can only be
achieved by careful observation, assessment and record keeping.
The curriculum supports the Early Learning Goals laid down by QCA
(Qualifications & Curriculum Authority).
When children enter Year 1 their curriculum will be based on the National
Curriculum Programmes of Study.
Details of this are to be found in the school Assessment Policy.
Additional assessment is carried out in line with the new Baseline Assessment
for Nursery Education developed by the QCA and Essex Education Authority.
The school employs a full time teacher, experienced in teaching early years
pupils and also a learning assistant who is suitably qualified to work with early
years pupils. Once children have settled into school, we are keen to
encourage voluntary help from parents, particularly with art and craft activities
and on class visits.
The classroom is equipped for early years activities including an imaginative
play area, a variety of construction equipment, computer, sand, dough etc.,
designed to encourage learning in literacy, maths, science and music.
The classroom displays are planned to be colourful and stimulating.
The ‘outdoor classroom’ housed in the school courtyard provides
opportunities for children to engage in a variety of play activities, which extend
their learning.
Attention will be paid to the Health and Safety policy of the school and the
relevant Health & Safety Codes of Practice.
Documentation provided for parents of new entrants
School Prospectus
Reading Advice booklet
Essex County Council Booklet
‘Starting School’ booklet for the new children
Documentation to be completed by parents
Application form
Admission form